We Are CollectionSpace: Building a Community Supported Collections Management System – Booth 31

Megan Forbes, LYRASIS, USA

CollectionSpace is a dynamic community of professionals working in the arts, humanities, social, and natural sciences. We collaborate to design, develop, and share a platform for collections information management that: supports traditional collections management activities; enables the integration of emergent and dynamic new technologies into the information ecologies of museums; and is an effective and affordable alternative to one-off applications developed in-house and proprietary offerings. CollectionSpace is freely distributed under the ECLv2 license.

Our demonstration will focus on our efforts in community building via the development of domain-specific profiles: extensions to CollectionSpace that are created, vetted, and supported by the communities that use them. Examples include procedures to support osteology inventories and NAGPRA claims management for anthropology and ethnography collections, or cataloging extensions that allow organizations with variable media works to properly describe everything from programming language to required hardware.

CollectionSpace continues to be informed by its community, a process that began with a series of community design workshops in 2008. The final report from those workshops is a foundational document for us: https://wiki.collectionspace.org/display/collectionspace/Community+Design+Workshops+Report

CollectionSpace is community-source software, a concept which is elegantly outlined by Brad Wheeler, here: http://er.educause.edu/articles/2007/1/open-source-2010-reflections-on-2007

Research IT staff at the University of California, Berkeley wrote an article elucidating how platforms like CollectionSpace can be used to decrease redundancy in campus or other consortial settings, via its innovative platform - at the heart of which is the "profile" model for domain-specific support: https://inews.berkeley.edu/articles/Jan-Feb2011/CollectionSpace